Mango ginger ice cream
The mango is not only a delicious fruit but also an old Hindu symbol for spiritual perfection. And when it comes to flavours, some argue that perfection stems from the proper use of contrasts. So why not test combining the sweet mango with the heat and particular fragrance of fresh ginger? The result should be pleasing to everyone who would like to put an exotic touch to the great mango flavour and experience an ice cream flavour somewhat out of the ordinary.
The mango is a stone-fruit, and like most fruits, it contains a lot of healthy things: vitamins, dietary fibre, and essential nutrients. It also happens to be very popular – even amongst some gods.
Since mango is the national fruit of India, it seems appropriate to tell a little mango-related story about the Hindu god Ganesha:
One day, Ganesha’s parents (the deities Shiva and Parvati) had received a special mango of knowledge from a visiting sage. Deciding to have a contest between their two sons, Shiva and Parvati stated that the first one who could circumnavigate the world three times would get the mango. Ganesha’s brother immediately took off (on a peacock), while Ganesha decided to first finish off his favourite snacks. When Ganesha finally finished eating, his brother had already got around the world twice. But Ganesha simply went over to his parents, walked around them three times and then claimed the mango. When asked why he thought he had won, he simply replied “You both are my world”. Delighted by the reply, his parents gave him the mango, which he happily devoured on the spot.
Whether this is a good example of lateral thinking, deep spiritual insight or sucking up to parents (or possibly all three), I leave for you to ponder 🙂 .
Most mangoes are sweet and mango is – in itself – a very nice ice cream flavour. But sometimes, it is fun to create a bit more unusual combinations. And ginger is not just any spice, but also has a long history as medicinal plant. Combining the two definitely creates a nice flavour-mix out of the ordinary.
Preparing an enlightened custard base
For such a perfect fruit as mango, a nice and classic egg-based custard seemed to be a suitable foundation – I turned to my French-style standard base for inspiration (but you could certainly test using other ice cream bases too!).
For detailed instructions on how to prepare egg-based custard, have a closer look here.
To summarise, the egg yolks and the sugar are combined and whisked together in a bowl. The dairy, along with the vanilla and a little salt, is heated to fairly hot (but far from boiling) in a saucepan. Then, the dairy is, slowly and little by little, drizzled into the egg yolk-sugar mix, under constant whisking (the “tempering phase”). Once all dairy and egg yolk mix have been combined, put on the heat and bring the custard base in the range of about 82-84º Celsius (180-183ºF) (use a thermometer for greatest accuracy. Otherwise, rely on the quite reliable Spoon-test). Once the custard has thickened as it should (reached the ‘nappe stage’) , quickly take it off the heat and cool down as fast as possible.
Adding the mango and the ginger
Making mango purée out of ripe mangoes is fairly unproblematic – peel the fruits and churn the fruit meat in a food processor or with a hand mixer. When the custard base has cooled down, it is time to add the mango purée and the freshly grated ginger and whisk well. Note that you don’t really need that much ginger, just about a tablespoon or so – the small amount used will, however, still make its flavour-mark on the final ice cream 🙂
A special note on fresh ginger in ice creams
Some of you may have heard that adding fresh ginger to dairy can cause curdling. And fresh ginger does contain an enzyme which can curdle dairy. But the difficulties typically appear when fresh ginger is combined with heated dairy (for instance, a custard in the making). Since we are adding the fresh ginger to the already prepared and cooled-down custard base, there should be no problems.
Put the ice cream base in the refrigerator to chill further, at least a few hours and preferably over night in order to achieve optimal consistency. Then churn the chilled base in your ice cream machine according to instructions.
No ice cream machine? No problems – then still-freeze the ice cream base in your freezer, and do the churning yourself (further instructions on how best to do that can be found in this post).
Ginger is a fascinating spice and when combined with sweet mango, the two manage to create quite a unique ‘third flavour’. And embedding this flavour in a trusty custard base ensures all the smoothness, richness and body one could wish for in a good ice cream. Sure, ordinary mango ice cream can be very nice. But every adventurous ice cream lovers who long for something sweet, special and out of the ordinary should try this elegant, exotic flavour.
- 400 ml (1.7 cups) cream
- 200 ml (0.85 cup) whole milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 125 ml (0.5 cup) + 100 ml (about 0.4 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/powder of good quality
- About 400 ml (1.7 cups) mango purée (= about 2 ripe mango fruits)
- About 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- About 1 good pinch of salt
- Prepare a classic ice cream custard:Pour the cream and the milk together in a saucepan. Add the vanilla and the salt.Bring to a simmering almost-boil.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar.
- Slowly, begin to pour – little by little – the recently heated dairy into the yolk-sugar mixture while whisking (the tempering stage).
- When everything has been well whisked together, pour the blend into the saucepan and – while whisking fairly constantly – bring to a temperature in the range of about 82-84º C(180-183ºF). If in doubt about the temperature, make the Spoon-test (described elsewhere on the blog).
- Take the ice cream base from the heat and cool it down as quickly as possible (by using an iced water bath, for example).
- Once the base has cooled down, add the puréed mango and the finely grated fresh ginger.
- Put the ice cream base in the refrigerator to chill and mature, preferably over night.
- Then, churn the chilled base in your ice cream machine according to instructions (or, in case you have no machine, still-freeze in your refrigerator:see the post on how to best do that).
- Put in a freezer-safe container, cover with plastic film and lid and store in the freezer.